The two players atop the leaderboard at the CME Group Tour Championship – Carlota Ciganda and Julieta Granada – will go to sleep tonight with their first ever second-round lead. Both Ciganda and Granada sit at 7-under and have led after the third round but never at the start of it. Ciganda vaulted into a share of the lead with a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Friday, while Granada held on to a share with a second-round 71.
“I don’t want to think too much about winning or finishing top 5, top 10,” Ciganda said. “Just keep playing one shot at a time and enjoy myself.”
“This is a new experience. I’m excited,” Granada said. “This is all very new. It’s going to make me a better player regardless of what happens this weekend, so I’m excited.”
Among the top nine in the Race to the CME Globe, Michelle Wie made a major push Friday with a 5-under 67 and sits two shots back at 5-under-par in a tie for fourth. She started slow with a bogey on the par-5 first hole but settled down with birdies on Nos. 3 and 6 and then holed out on for an eagle from 125 yards on the par-4 seventh to turn it around.
“I was irritated. You never like to bogey a par 5, nonetheless on the first hole, but I think it kind of fueled me,” Wie said. “The hole out on 7 was a lot of fun as well.”
Stacy Lewis remains No. 1 in the Race to the CME Globe projections and sits at 1-under for the tournament after a disappointing 74 Friday. Lewis sits two shots ahead of Inbee Park in the tournament as they come down the stretch in their battle for the Rolex Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy in which Lewis leads by three points and .095 shots, respectively.
“Six back is not a horrible position. I don’t think anybody is running away with this thing. I think it’s going to end up being pretty bunched up at the end and probably a playoff on Sunday,” Lewis said. “I’m right where I need to be. Trying not to think about Player of the Year and all that stuff. It’s up there, but trying not to think about it.”
Park wasn’t particularly pleased after her round – 2-over-par 74 – that saw the Tour’s third-ranked putter (28.98 per round) need 35 putts on the day.
“It was similar to yesterday, but just nothing dropped,” Park said. “It was horrible putting. That’s it.”
During the final tournament of the 2014 LPGA season, Morgan Pressel has been one of the busiest players in the field. Pressel’s husband Andy Bush is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Octagon Sports, the group
running the CME Group Tour Championship, so she has duties both inside and outside the ropes.
Monday was the Pro-Am party. On Tuesday Pressel helped the LPGA announce the 2015 schedule and as a past
champion of what was the Kraft Nabisco Championship, she played a big part in the announcement of the new ANA Inspiration. Wednesday she played in the Pro-Am and was awarded the KIA Community Assist Award, given to the LPGA player who makes an exceptional contribution to charity and community programs. And finally, last night Pressel hosted the red carpet event for LPGA.com and also attended the Rolex Awards Celebration and dinner.
Being so busy off the course hasn’t affected her performance on the course. She finished the second round just one stroke behind leaders Carlota Ciganda and Julieta Grenada, who each sit at 7-under.
“I love talking fashion, so last night was a lot of the fun on the red carpet.” Pressel said. “But, yeah, this has probably been the busiest week I’ve had all year in terms of extracurricular activities. I’m kind of excited tonight I don’t have any. I don’t really know what to do with myself.”
She’s been busy, but with all her experience and understanding of the business-side of tournament operations, Pressel knows what a big week it’s been for the LPGA.
“But it’s been a really, really great week from the Kia Awards to announcing the ANA Inspiration, to last night’s Rolex Awards
celebration.” Pressel said. “Everything about this week is really,
really special. So it’s nice to be here part of CME Race to the Globe. It’s such an exciting finish for our season.”
first hole bogey fuels wie
Michelle Wie made a bogey on the par-5 first hole and found herself over par for the tournament. Rather than letting the blemish derail her round and tournament, Wie used it as motivation.
“I was irritated,” Wie admitted. “You never like to bogey a par 5 nonetheless on the first hole, but I think it kind of fueled me. I made a birdie on 3 and the hole out on 7 was a lot of fun as well. But, yeah, sometimes I play well when I bogey the first hole because then I am very irritated. “
Following the setback on the first, Wie was flawless posting four birdies and a hole out eagle with a wedge from 125 yards on the par-4 seventh en route to a day two 67.
“That’s the beauty of this game,” Wie said. “It’s a hard game and you’re going to have tough days out there. At the same time, that’s kind of the fun part about it. You go out there after your round and try to figure it out. I love that part.”
With the solid day, Wie finds herself at 5-under for the championship and in contention not only for her third win of the season but also for the Race to CME Globe title and $1 million.
“I just want to build upon today. There are a lot of the positives. Obviously some things I do want to work on for
tomorrow. Just got to keep going what I’m doing.”
numbers to know
1 - This is the first time in Carlotta Ciganda or Julieta Granada’s careers that they have led an LPGA event after 36 holes
27 - Through her first two rounds Julieta Granada has hit 27 of 28 greens in regulation
6 - Stacy Lewis hit only 6 greens during her second round 74, Lewis ranks fifth on Tour in GIR at .763
35 - Inbee Park had 35 putts on her second round, Park ranks third on Tour with 28.98 putts per round
2/2 - Michelle Wie was 2/2 on sand saves on the day
1.101 - The course played 1.101 strokes easier in the second round
16- The par-3 16th has played as the hardest hole on the course at 3.348
17 - The par-5 17th has played as the easiest hole on the course at 4.696
race to cme globe projections
Here is how the top-9 in the Race to the CME Globe peformed during Thursday’s opening round.
CME Ranking Player Score Position Projected Ranking
1 Stacy Lewis -1 T15 1
2 Inbee Park +1 T37 3
3 Lydia Ko -2 T10 4
4 Michelle Wie -5 T4 2
5 So Yeon Ryu -4 T7 5
6 Shashan Feng -1 T15 8
7 Anna Nordqvist +1 T37 10
8 Chella Choi -4 T7 9
9 Karrie Webb +4 T49 14
Quote of the Day
“I think with the Race to CME, on top of it being the last tournament of the season, it’s exactly like final exams where what you learned about the season you kind of want to use in this week.”
-Michelle Wie on the Race to CME Globe
the social scene
Paula Creamer re-posted a photo from Golf Channel to her social media pages her barefoot in the water for her shot today : “No filter can help this!!! Hahhaa hit a pretty good shot from 45 yards! Not where you want to be!